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Mercy Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Mercy Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation’s (PM & R) expert physiatrists provide patients with specialized back, neck and musculoskeletal care close to home. This program was developed to improve patient access to comprehensive state-of-the-art treatments for problems associated with the back, neck and musculoskeletal injuries.

What to expect at Mercy Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

When patients are referred to us, they are guided through a process of assessment and non-operative treatment options by one of our expert physiatrists to develop a plan of care tailored to the patient’s condition.

 Mercy’s physiatrists evaluate and treat a variety of problems, including pinched nerves and other painful disorders of the spine. Services offered include:

  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Spasticity management (Botox)
  • Amputee management
  • ITB pump management
  • Medications
  • Trigger point injections
  • EMG and nerve conduction studies
  • Joint injections (ultrasound guided)
  • Sports injury evaluations

If indicated, the physiatrists offer prompt referrals to physical therapy, neurosurgery, anesthesia pain control, orthopedic surgeons and behavioral health specialists. Mercy’s physiatrists consider all of the options available and help you get on the path to improved function and less pain.

Anatomy of the Brain


The brain is the control center of the human body. The brain regulates movement, preserves memory, and drives the body's involuntary functions. It is divided into two sides called hemispheres, each divided into lobes.

Cervical Radiculopathy


This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the cervical spine. Because these nerves travel to the shoulders, arms and hands, an injury in the cervical spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Cervical radiculopathy may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column.

Herniated Discs


A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs.

Muscle Strain of the Upper Back (Trapezius Strain)


This common injury is a stretching or tearing of the trapezius. This large muscle group spans the upper back, shoulders and neck. These muscles are commonly called the "trap" muscles.



In this condition, damage to bones or joints causes vertebrae to slip forward and distort the spinal cord. This animation will show two types of spondylolisthesis, degenerative and isthmic.



A stroke is a medical emergency caused by an interruption of blood flow to part of the brain. When this happens, the brain's cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. These cells begin to die quickly. A stroke can cause severe complications in the brain and body. It can be fatal.

Anatomy of the Spine


The spinal column is the body's main support structure. Its thirty-three bones, called vertebrae, are divided into five regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal.

Degenerative Disc Disease


This condition is a weakening of one or more vertebral discs, which normally act as a cushion between the vertebrae. This condition can develop as a natural part of the aging process, but it may also result from injury to the back.

Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)


This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine. Because these nerves travel to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Sciatica may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the lumbar spinal column.

Spinal Stenosis


The spinal column contains open spaces that create passageways for the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of (or an intrusion into) these openings. This can cause a compression of the nerves. Spinal stenosis most commonly affects the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine.



This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time.

Myofascial Release


The fascia is a tissue structure that lies just beneath the skin and covers and connects the muscles and other organs of the body. This therapeutic procedure is used to treat the pain, tension, and limited range of motion that results from contracted or bound fascia.

Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)


This noninvasive, outpatient exam is used to measure how quickly nerves conduct electrical signals through the body. NCS is a valuable technique for diagnosing nerve damage. If damage exists, NCS can help a physician find its source.

Trigger Point Injections


This outpatient procedure is designed to reduce or relieve the pain of trigger points. These small, tender knots can form in muscles or in the fascia (the soft, stretchy connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs). The trigger point injection procedure takes only a few minutes to complete.

Electromyography (EMG)


This outpatient diagnostic test is used to evaluate the health of muscles and the nerves, called motor neurons, which control the muscles. EMG is a valuable diagnostic device for determining the cause of muscle weakness and for identifying neurologic disorders.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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